Seeking compensation for sexual abuse? Specific time limits apply
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, you may be entitled to compensation from the government-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Here at Wards Solicitors, we know that no amount of compensation can make up for the hurt and damage you have suffered but it could go some way towards helping you to move on with your life.
In sexual abuse cases involving personal injury, our experienced lawyers can help you not only begin court proceedings to seek justice – click here to read what we have written on this recently – but also explain the time limits for applying for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?
It’s a government-funded scheme designed to recognise and compensate victims of violent crime in Great Britain. CICA administers the scheme and decides all claims.
The rules of the scheme, and the value of payments, are set by the government and calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries with the size of the award reflecting the seriousness of the injury
Do time limits apply to bringing a compensation claim for sexual abuse?
Yes, the normal time limit for bringing a CICA claim is two years from the date of the assault or injury. However, CICA can extend this time limit in instances where:
- Due to exceptional circumstances, an application could not have been made earlier;
- When the evidence provided in support of the application means that it can be determined without further extensive enquiries by a claims officer.
For those under 18 when the abuse happened, special rules apply
Crucially, for abuse victims who were under 18 at the time of the incident, there is special provision – although it’s still best to apply as soon as possible.
If you are not able to make your own application, your parent or guardian can make an application to CICA on your behalf.
If the incident or period of abuse was reported to the police before you turned 18, but no-one made a claim on your behalf, you can still make a claim to CICA until the day of your 20th birthday.
If the incident or period of abuse took place before you became 18, but was not reported to the police at the time, you can apply to CICA within two years from the date you reported the incident or abuse to the police.
In either case, you must be able to provide supporting evidence enabling the claims officer to decide without further extensive enquiries.
Again, if you are outside the above time-periods and need to ask the CICA to extend this time limit, evidence must be provided to show why your application could not have been made earlier.
If the victim lived under the ‘same roof’ as the abuser, be aware of important changes to time limit rules for compensation
The ‘same roof’ rule unfairly prevented compensation being awarded for incidents of sexual abuse when the victim and abuser lived in the same property between August 1964 and 30 September 1979. This has now been changed.
This means, if this happened to you, you could now be eligible to claim compensation from CICA. The time limit that applies in these cases is two years from 14 June 2019.
CICA has discretion to consider applications beyond the two-year period if the victim was a child at the time of the abuse, or if the victim was unable to meet this time limit because of exceptional circumstances.
Get in touch
Our specialist Accident and Injury Team has expertise in this area of the law.
We offer a free initial consultation and are here to help.
Please contact Associate Solicitor, Richard Green: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 01275 858515
Or contact any member of our Accident and Injury Team.